Christian Tennis Victory Over Pedophile Abuse
by Scott Paschal
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I like to tell kids things will be ok.
I guess it a natural instinct for me.
Well, natural because we are created by God and for God.
To me, whenever God is involved, things will be ok. God created me, and He promises me in His word, the Bible, that I am a child of Him.
Maybe I like to tell the kids I speak to in churches, or at tournaments, or wherever, that things will be ok because God tells me I’ll be ok, and that He will see me through whatever trials I am set to face as He shapes and molds me for what is to come in eternity.
This is Scott Paschal. I’m the Director of Ministry for the International Christian Tennis Association, www.christiantennis.net, a Christian sports ministry with members in over 1500 cities in 50 countries.
I, along with my two staff members, Rachel and Melody Snelen, and a handful of volunteers, work hard to share the Good News through the sport of tennis.
That’s cool, too, huh?
Kids today have terrorism to think about. Not so cool.
When I was a kid we had to think about a nuclear war with Russia. I remember we would have surprise drills during school where we would all leave the classroom and move to the halls and crunch up into little balls and be really still. I guess that was supposed to help somehow when a nuclear bomb hits.
Well, Russia is now are friend. Things changed. God knew they would. What led the change? Christians did.
Carter and Reagan became presidents. Both had their eyes on Jesus, though both were far from perfect.
Billy Graham led several crusades into communist Russia… you should read about the miracles of how that happened. People worldwide saw the need for supernatural intervention, so they prayed.
Big things happen when Christians pray.
Maybe that’s what God was intending.
I spent some time with a set of Christian tennis parents this weekend as I enjoyed a great junior tennis tournament here in sunny Florida.
These folks have a strong Christian focus. It was forged through adversity.
They had seen tragedy within their lives as one of their preteen daughters had been sexually molested for months by a prominent tennis pro.
The discovery of this led to the pedophiliac tennis pro spending a lot of time in jail.
At one point in time he was a pretty cocky guy readily putting others down with slander and malice in order to make himself seem important.
Now this pedophile is in prison having to defend himself from the same type of abuse he dished out.
The abused girl is coping, the parents are healing, and through it all God is being revealed. These are wonderful people I am grateful to call my friends, and members of the International Christian Tennis Association.
Satan tried to destroy this family. He failed. I’m so grateful.
Rachel and Melody Snelen have been to this family’s house spending time with the girl. Rachel and Melody are twins. The girl also has a twin. There is a natural bond between the four of them.
There is also another bond. You see, when they were little girls, Rach and Mel were also abused by a child molestor.
Not just any child molestor... the guy was a pastor.
Not only was he a pastor, he was also the President of the Florida Baptist Association.
And he was in his 60's.
Though you would think their lives would have been destroyed, God used this tragedy to reveal His glory through their lives.
God had a plan and a purpose for turning a tragedy into a triumph!
Rachel and Melody Snelen are now fulltime staff members with the International Christian Tennis Association.
After a strong junior tennis career which saw them start the bottom of junior tennis in Texas at 14 years of age, they both ended up top 10 in Texas before their junior tennis careers ended.
Now, they both work fulltime as tennis missionaries. Sometimes, they play professional tennis tournaments, but not to become famous. They play so they can tell people about Jesus.
Both Rachel and Melody have earned their WTA rankings, which was their goal when they were 16!
Now, their goal is to attend ITF and WTA pro tournaments while leading ICTA Pro Team Mission Trips… while helping their teammates achieve success… placing the needs of their friends above their own needs.
These twins are really amazing girls indeed.
Yet, even though both of these girls live such a selfless life, giving of what they have to others, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all they meet…
even though their lives are a billboard for victory over abuse… even though they are loved and cared about by people in ministry nationwide…
Even though they do so much for so many, Satan still tries to abuse them through his foot soldiers. He tries to harm their Christian witness.
Satan knows both of these God- blessed missionaries are leading people to Christ…
Thus he has assigned one of his demons to attack them continuously through the work of a tennis pro who lives in Greece.
Slanderous emails... threatening voice mails...
Just as the pedophile who abused Rachel and Melody was a pastor, so was the man currently attempting to do them harm.
Yep... former pastors. Notice the word "former."
The same demonic activity which leads pedophile tennis pros to molest little girls still works to attack even when the girls grow older, and especially when the girls have stood up for their Creator.
My natural instinct is to tell kids things will be ok.
I’m telling this little girl it will be ok.
Rachel and Melody are telling her the same thing. Though they know Satan will use his goons at all times, they both know God is so much bigger than any demon.
Our God is a just God. We are not to sit in judgement. God will fight our battles!
Our lives are His!
We are His children!
God promises he will not let happen to you more than you can handle. Sin is part of our world. Yet, so is God.
Rachel and Melody Snelen are shining beacons for Christ. They are 23 years of age and powerful Christians walking in God’s love.
They each have a personal relationship with God, have been tested to their limits, have forgiving hearts, and are walking hand in hand with the Creator who spoke the universe into existence and knows the stars by name.
Nothing could keep them down. And nothing will. They are both tremendous examples for the tens of thousands of girls, and women, worldwide who have been sexually abused by pedophiles.
Through God we can all the achieve victory He has for our lives, whatever that may be!
Rachel and Melody Snelen, WTA professional tennis players and fulltime Christian tennis missionaries, know God loves them and is in 100% control!
I want this little girl to know the same thing. And I want all kids to know this.
You are a child of God created in His image. He has a plan and a purpose for your life. No matter what Satan does working through his followers, no matter what demonic activity has attacked your life, no matter what obstacles you face or tragedy you have had to endure…
God is with you and God is in control.
God promises things will be ok for His children.
I think that is pretty cool.
May God bless and keep you,
International Christian Tennis Association
Ps. If you have stories of current abuse or victory over abuse you would like to share with me, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
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May God bless you TREMENDOUSLY above measure for the encouragement you are to girls who have suffered at the hand of pedophiles. It's a crime that I believe far too many Christians turn a blind eye to because they simply don't know how to handle it. It's sad because there are a whole world of girls out there that need to know our HEALING GOD still loves them... that the sick things some people do are NOT their fault. It helps to know that we do not war with flesh and blood, but principalities who exalt themselves in high places. It helps even more to know that God is on our side... that He is near to the broken hearted and saves those of a contrite spirit.
Coach Paschal, It is good to know there are Christian ministries out there that help abused children recover. It also sounds like your staff members Melody Snelen and Rachel Snelen are very hard working, caring and competent Christian Tennis missionaries. I bet you and the parents of the students who come to train at the International Christian Tennis academy appreciate these talented girls working along side you training and caring about their kids. It is much better to have someone not only tell you things will be okay, but to do as you and your ICTA staff do, to also help them learn how to let God help them heal so things will be okay.
amy, scott paschal here. again i really appreciate your efforts to comment of my articles. i know this takes a lot of time in your day. as for my articles, well, the article is just a brief look into something i have focused a big chunk of my life to... which is caring and protecting abused kids. it really began fulltime for me back in 1999. i began caring for four abused christian tennis players, three from texas and one from russia. three had experienced sexual abuse, one spiritual abuse. within months, someone went on a years-long crusade to destroy my ministry. internet slander, reputation bashing, calling my family & friends.... welcome to standing up to an abuser! the good news is the pedophile who molested 2 of my female students is now in prison. his name is jim kelly and i truly enjoy knowing he is behind bars now. i am still going after the former president of the florida baptist association who molested two of my students when they were little girls. i'm not done with him, yet. in fact he still preaches. though i am not judging him, i will hold him accountable for his crimes and look forward to helping keep him from commiting more pedophile crimes. once these losers end up in prison, much healing can occur for everyone. an interesting side note... over 70% of all female tennis players i have spoken with, and rachel and melody snelen have spoken with... over 7 of 10 have been sexually molested.